Week2O Why Social Media Failed on Xbox Live

In early 2009 Microsoft added social media apps to Xbox Live on the Xbox 360 video game system. These apps allowed you to login to your Facebook and Twitter accounts on the dashboard of your Xbox when you first logged in to Xbox live. When they first released the apps I tested out the Facebook app to see how it was. The first thing i noticed was, it was exactly like Facebook on your phone or computer. The second thing i noticed was, how unbelievably slow it was, so i never used it again. I personally thought they went about it all wrong and that it wouldn’t last, but every article I read was saying how many users are using/loving the apps. Here is one of those articles,

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10403984-52.html

But then in early October of last year Microsoft announced that they were scrapping the social media apps. Microsoft did not say much on why they did this, the only thing i found was that it was in the interest of “streamlining” app functionality on the service. Let’s make a safe assumption: if the apps were popular and used by Xbox Live members, they’d still be up. No one is talking about taking Netflix down to “streamline” Xbox Live. At present, you’ll be able to access Twitter and Facebook using Microsoft’s Internet Explore App on Xbox Live. On the surface, it seems odd that such popular service which, for many, serve as a central connection to their friends and family, met with so little success on Xbox Live. However, I can’t say that I’m surprised. I am personally a frequent user of Facebook and (slowly) Twitter on my home computer and Iphone.

Between Facebook, Twitter, instant messages, text messages, message boards, and email, I’m not lacking for ways to digitally connect with my friends and online acquaintances. With most “gamers” they are not looking to post status, and send tweets when they turn on their Xbox, they are looking to lose themselves in a virtual world. The main reason I believe the apps fell short was the speed, by the time the Xbox 360 boots up, I could have sent 30 tweets and updated my whole profile from my phone. If Microsoft could update the speed of the apps and add some features where you could post in-game stats, or tweet progress form the game it would fare a lot better with the gaming community. i do not think they should abandon the social media aspect, because it is a really good idea. I believe they just need to go back to the drawing boards and revamp the idea.